Manchester United, after failing to finish a million chances, succumbed to a faltering effort from Joe Allen due to an error from David de Gea. This goal cost United another two points, a place in the close gaps of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool, and ultimately, the satisfaction of place in the table going into the international break, before what will undoubtedly be a difficult spell for the Red Devils. Jose Mourinho, however, thought the Red Devils were fantastic all game and simply lacked the composure to finish the chances needed to win the match.
Mourinho implied that United should’ve at least scored five goals with all the chances created, saying it was the best performance from a footballing perspective and crediting the attitude United showed after finally taking the lead from a wonderful Anthony Martial strike. Mourinho said he wouldn’t blame his players for the draw or for any frustrations they had after it because it was a tough one to stomach even for the fans.
“I am very happy with the performance but, when the result should be 5-0 or 6-0 and it is 1-1, the happiness disappears and the frustration with the result comes. It was the best performance in terms of the football we played, the creation, the chances and the consistency because we did it for 90 minutes.
“We started with a big chance in the first minute and finished with another one, and in between, we had maybe five, six, seven more, and had complete control of the game.There was a great attitude after 1-0 because we wanted to kill the game and were feeling so confident and kept creating chances. Then, by magic, they crossed the midfield line and scored a goal, which was obviously very unfair for us.”
Jose Mourinho said it is unlike him to criticize his players for missing chances. He also was one of many to praise the unbelievable heroics of Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant, who pulled off a stunning eight saves in Stoke’s triumphant draw, including some of the best saves I’ve ever seen.
“I never criticise my players for missing chances. The goalkeeper is the man of the match, deservedly, and the post too. We had some open chances where we could do better. I can be critical of the attitude or some naive mistakes sometimes, but not of the chances. We should be with a fat result at this moment, not just three points.”
While it is refreshing to see Mourinho’s calm attitude in a storm of unlucky, United’s draw yesterday was frustrating for different reasons than usual- United clearly deserved to win. With over 65% of dominant possession, 24 shots and 9 on target, United was clearly the better side. It was particularly frustrating to see Ibrahimovic miss a couple of good chances- though he is beginning to offer more to the game, there are times when he is often being carried on the pitch with the hope he’ll have a chance of scoring.
In addition, David De Gea hasn’t made an error in a long time, and United fans will hope the Spaniard will keep his head high nonetheless. When I see consistent players make errors, I always think of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous words on Denis Irwin. But United fans need not be upset- the performance was good and, based on that alone, United has a great chance of being near the top of the league as the season goes on. If anything, I’d be more upset about the international break.